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Water Quality and Quantity Issues, News and Updates
Water, water everywhere --- and not a drop to drink...”
(from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Water – Quality & Quantity – A Very Hot Topic
Updated January 2011
“Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year” -- so states Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project in the CDP Water Disclosure 2010 Global Report. The situation is getting worse rather than getting better. The pressures of over-population, climate change and increased use per capita are all causing water stresses, although unevenly, throughout the globe.
Current impacted areas in the news include the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States; China; India; Ireland; the Middle East region; Australia; and many countries in Africa. The threat has been recognized and throughout the globe and governments, corporations and activists groups are bringing the problem to the forefront and helping to craft and influence both short and long term solutions.
Since this section was first created in 1998, the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. Water – quality and quantity is continuing to be a Hot Topic for AC readers. As many pundits are saying…water is becoming the new carbon.
In 2006 the United Nations World Water Development Report described the state of water on our planet as a “crisis of governance.” While the world appears to have enough fresh water supply today, the issue is one of governance, as in water distribution, management and quality control practices. Water quality appears to be degrading in many areas, our monitoring tells us, and water quantity (supply) is a huge issue in many of the world’s regions.
Due to a number of factors -- mismanagement, limited area resources, and environmental changes, some caused by climate change -- almost one-fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Access to water is further restricted by national and governmental entities that regulate where the water flows, who has access and for what purpose the water is used.
Water is also used as an economic, health and environmental weapon by the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Governments “determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services,” said the report authors. Water availability is also related to a range of issues intimately connected to water, from health and food security to economic development, land use, and the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which the water resources depend.
Water quality is declining in most regions of the Earth. Regional over- population, increased industrialization, absence of proper waste water treatment -- are all contributing to the emerging crisis. Poor water quality is a key cause of poor livelihood and health. An estimated 1.6 million lives (directly or indirectly connected to water quality issues and their related diseases) could be saved each year by providing more access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to the world’s poorest regions.
Access to water is not only a Third World or emerging nations’ issue -- droughts in the U.S. Southeast and quantity issues in the Southwest and in California have brought conservation, control and distribution issues to the public’s attention in the past few years. Water in the United States is a key factor to residential and commercial development, economic stability and job growth – all issues which effect local and regional communities’ economic well-being. Water in the USA is critical to the health of agriculture and related industries. Corporations are in the spotlight for their use of water – advocates and third party researchers are developing “water footprints” (similar to “carbon footprints”) for leading companies, such as Coca Cola, Nestle and other water-intensive industries and sectors.
The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring the many facets of Water issues -- especially quality and quantity -- into focus with news, commentary and research. Education on the issues, public discussion and rising concern can help to bring about real and positive changes and sensible and fair solutions to the problems at hand. Perhaps this public forum can help in some small way. The Institute maintains a robust focus on water issues and the key players in its subscription Web-accessed knowledge management platform Sustainability HQ – click here for more information:www.sustainabilityhq.com.
Latest on Water - Quality & Quantity
April 11, 2013 Smart Solutions to a Worsening Water CrisisSource: Science Daily
Innovative policies and new technologies that reduce water waste are helping countries across the Middle East and North Africa deal with chronic water shortages.
April 10, 2013 Shale gas industry could provide needed jobs, economist saysSource: Yahoo News
An economic consultant in Moncton says shale gas development may be something a lot of New Brunswickers oppose, but with unemployment hitting 20 per cent of people in the northeastern part of the province, it has to be considered.
Source: Digital Journal
The Great Great Lakes Garbage Patch, like its disgusting relatives in the Pacific and elsewhere, is underway. Rejoice, Americans and Canadians, now you’ve got something else to die of, literally and figuratively.
April 10, 2013 Shale-rich Spanish region votes to ban fracking
EurActiv.com - Lawmakers in Spain's northern Cantabria region unanimously voted on Monday (8 April) to ban hydraulic fracturing on environmental concerns, shooting down the central government's hopes for a project to boost jobs...
April 10, 2013 Natural Gas Resources Seen at Record in U.S. on FrackingSource: Bloomberg
The U.S. has 2,384 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas according to an industry estimate, twice what a similar study concluded nine years ago as drillers began tapping shale formations using a technique known as...
A federal judge has ruled the Obama administration broke the law when it issued oil leases in central California without fully weighing the environmental impact of "fracking," a setback for companies seeking to exploit the...
April 9, 2013 Cotton Planting in India Seen Dropping on Water ShortageSource: Bloomberg
Cotton planting in India, the world’s largest grower after China, may drop for a second year after the weakest monsoon rains in three years deepened a water shortage in the main growing regions. Futures in Mumbai climbed.
April 8, 2013 Rain not enough to defuse water shortage riskSource: The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The public needs to keep up water-saving efforts even after the past week's rain helped lift the water levels at some reservoirs, officials said yesterday. According to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), rainfall...
Blue & Green Tomorrow - Ceres, which supports sustainability leadership â has launched a new framework to help the suppliers reach out to their investors on the issue. Its framework is designed to help them prepare...
April 8, 2013 Will Syria’s Refugee Crisis Drain Jordan of Its Water?Source: Time
Now that spring has arrived in the Middle East, Syria’s estimated 1.2 million refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan can hope for relief from the snow, the rain and the bitterly cold nights of winter. But that relief will be as...
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